This is the home of the Legendary Pope Lick Monster. We take time out of our busy schedule to stop by and give our impressions.
The Unpaid Gamers…. What does that mean to everyone? Obviously that means we have a passion for Video Games right? When the concept was first given life 3 years ago, I had a very clear objective. My peers and I were unpaid and loved video games. Let’s cover news, reviews giving attention to both retro and new releases. I had a very clear idea on what should be included as content, but to be honest as the site progresses this line begins to blur. Sure gaming is our top priority, but we also have other interests as do our readers.
This brings me to one of my favorite topics growing up…. Urban Legends. There was always something very interesting in hearing a new tale for the first time. Hearing the legends, listening to everyone telling their experience as they seek out the truth. Did any of these tales carry any truth and how did they originate?
Being a native of Kentucky, one of these legends is of The Pope Lick Monster. This is the tale of a Half-Man, Half-Goat, Half Sheep ( I know..lol) monster that lives under the Trestle in Fisherville located near Louisville, KY. According to the legends, Teenagers are lured onto the tracks either by hypnosis or voice mimicry. As seen in the above picture this is quite the treacherous venture. Once lured on the tracks the visitor would have nowhere to go but down once a train passed through. The other variation of this legend states that driving under the bridge would cause the Pope Lick Monster to jump on the roof of your car.
What is the origin of this legend? It has been said that perhaps the monster was a circus freak that vowed revenge and escaped after a train derailment occurred nearby this area. Another version consists of a reincarnation of a local farmer that sacrificed goats in exchange for satanic powers.
Regardless of which version you have heard or believe in, this site has been visited numerous times throughout the years and resulted in a few very real deaths. The trestle has became a sort of rite of passage throughout the years. Are you able to cross before the goat man gets you or a train comes? The latter being a very real possibility. The crossing spans 772 Feet in length and stands 90 feet in he air.
Being thrill seekers, we decided to take a late night drive and visit the famous site. One thing that was made very clear upon on arrival was the lack of nearby parking. This has been the case for quite a few of these sites I have visited throughout the years. This is an obvious part of pope lick park as the pedestrian walkway leads directly under the trestle, however in spite of a main road going directly under the site no turnoff was found. Parking on the opposite side of the very busy Taylorsville Rd, we find a small area at the entrance of Pope Lick Park.
Stopping at the park entrance gave us an opportunity to walk the pedestrian path along side the terrifying Circle K (pumps were prepay only and they were unable to accept debit…bad experience) and under Taylorsville Rd. To be honest in the dark, this walkway was an experience all itself. There is a creek that runs through the Pope Lick area and accompanies this walkway the entire way to the trestle. Heading down the ramp and going under this frequently traveled road takes you on a four foot wide grated bridge. (I use the word bridge loosely since we were only a few feet off the ground.) You are forced however to approach the bridge from around the corner and I could see this as being a very good spot for someone to get the drop on you. I’m not paranoid, but things happen and having a heavily concealed area that is only visible when it’s too late is worth taking note of.
Crossing the bridge and continuing on the pedestrian path takes you along side South Pope Lick Rd. This is road that takes you directly under The Pope Lick trestle. Having drove under it trying to find a parking spot probably took a little bit of the initial magic out of the approach, but walking up to the site is still pretty cool. From this approach the trestle does feel a little more ominous. Not even from a superstitious stand point, but knowing that some very real tragedies took place at the site of Goat-man. Arriving directly under the trestle is a pretty cool experience, mostly due to the size of the structure. Realizing that a train could start going over your head any minute is weird to wrap your head around. (Yes this train route is still very active). The most direct path to the top of tracks is blocked by a barbed wire gate, however the fence literally ends about 30 feet west with an open path next to it. The gate to the fence is locked with a simple padlock and a visible No Trespassing stands on the other side. I noticed the sign had been vandalized with the letters J.C. which at the time I just figured was the vandals initials. After leaving the site I discovered that Jack Charles Bahm II a 17 year old kid was one of the victims of the site in 1987. This has resulted in numerous references to JC in the sites graffiti.
A few months after Jack’s death a 19 year old David Wayne Bryant died from injuries that were caused by jumping off the trestle when he faced with an oncoming train. These tragedies were followed in the year 2000 by Nicholas Jewell, a 19 year old that tried to hold on to the ties when a crossing train hit the tracks and tragically he was shaken off and fell to his death. Knowing of these tragedies does in fact add a dark feeling to the area, but I never once felt like “someone was watching me”.
Picture not taken by us, but we wanted to convey the severity of the situation. Source
Our visit was uneventful, no sightings, no sounds, no mysterious calls to the top of the tracks. Is the Goat-man out there watching? Is he waiting to pounce on top of your car as you drive underneath? Probably not, but the fact remains that this site has posed a very real danger to teenagers and “investigators” throughout the years. Anyone visiting the site should understand the dangers of an active railroad and busy highway. That being said The Pope Lick Trestle was a very cool place to visit first hand. Having such a clearly designated site for such a legend and history can be hard to come by. The legends of the Goat-man coupled with real deaths add to the lore of Pope Lick.
We look forward to diving deeper into the history of this one and perhaps getting more pictures for our gallery. I hope you have enjoyed reading about our experience at The Pope Lick Trestle. We will be sure to provide more information about the site as it is discovered and our impressions of other sites.